'Fanaa' ban shows BJP's intolerance: CPI-M

May 25, 2006 IANS

New Delhi, May 25 (IANS) The Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) Thursday condemned Gujarat's ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for not allowing Aamir Khan starrer "Fanna" to be screened in the state following the actor's remarks on the Narmada dam project.

"The virtual ban on the showing of the film 'Fanaa' in Gujarat is an indication of the extreme intolerance displayed by the ruling party and its organisations in Gujarat to any dissenting opinion," a statement issued by the CPI-M politburo said.

The state's multiplex theatres and Cinematrograph Exhibitory Association (CEA) have decided not to screen 'Fanaa' following a boycott call from the BJP youth wing.

Khan had expressed solidarity with the Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA) that has been opposing the Sardar Sarovar dam project on the Narmada river in the state. He demanded proper rehabilitation of those displaced by the dam, even as the project is seen as the "lifeline" for the state's drought-prone parts.

The CPI-M alleged that Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi's assurance of police protection to the theatres showing the film was "an eyewash".

"It is under his leadership that the front organisations of the Sangh combine (BJP's ideological parent Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh and its affiliates) are threatening film theatre owners against showing the film," the statement said.

"The state government is behaving as if it is above the constitution of India which grants freedom of expression to every individual.

"Such actions of the Sangh combine in Gujarat under the patronage of the government has serious implications for democratic rights of the people of Gujarat and indeed for all Indian citizens," the CPI-M statement said.

The party demanded that the Narendra Modi government and the BJP uphold the law of the country.

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